Birmingham City Council children's services to be inspected
A children's services department that was branded a "national disgrace" is to be inspected by Ofsted.
The watchdog will begin its examination of several areas within the department on Wednesday.
The department has been rated "inadequate" since 2009 and its most recent inspection was cancelled to allow the government to review the authority's improvement plan.
The council said it welcomed the inspection.Warnings of take-over
There have been a number of high-profile child deaths in Birmingham in recent years, including those of Khyra Ishaq in 2008 and Keanu Williams in 2011.
The council's children's services were branded a "national disgrace" by Ofsted's chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw in October.
The council had been warned the children's service could be taken over by the Department for Education if standards did not improve.
The team is not the only West Midlands authority to have its children's services inspected.
Coventry City Council is currently awaiting the results of an Ofsted inspection of its services, in the wake of the death of four-year-old Daniel Pelka in 2012.
Birmingham's leader Sir Albert Bore said the inspection would "contribute to the growing understanding about what is needed to improve the care and safety of children in this city".
The council is still awaiting the publication of a review of its services requested by children's minister Edward Timpson.
An Ofsted spokeswoman said it could not confirm how long its inspection would take.